First impressions: VT-3 Compact

Mike Morton takes a look at the VT-3 Compact, a first focal plane optic that manages to throw in Discovery’s trademark splash of colour.

First focal plane scopes, just like bullpups, are very much in vogue at the moment, and the latest Compact models from Discovery are physically smaller – and cheaper – than any FFP this company has done before.

The one seen here is the 4-16×44 model, which measures just 270mm and has an RRP of £229.99, but there’s a 3-12×44 model as well which comes in at 254mm, weighs 500 grams and costs £219.99. Because of their small size, these little telescopic sights would work well on bullpups, carbines or any small rifle.

Key Specs

Manufacturer: Discovery Optics (
UK distributor: Sureshot Airguns (
Model: VT-3 Compact 4-16×44 SF FFP
Price: £229.99
Tube diameter: 30mm
Objective lens: 44mm
Magnification range: 4-16
Reticle: SS-2 FFP
Turret adjustments: 1/10 mil
Focus: Side focus
Parallax: 10 yards (nine metres) to infinity
Length: 27cm (10.6”)
Resettable turrets: Yes
Features: Honeycomb sunshade and flip-up lens covers

While most scope manufacturers like to keep their optics a neutral black colour, Discovery isn’t afraid to shout out loud about its products by using a few less-than-covert colour choices, some of which have been a bit gaudy for our conservative Western tastes.

With the VT-3, Discovery’s managed to tone things down a bit, keeping its blue diamond logo on the side parallax turret and adding some aesthetically pleasing holes in the windage and elevation turrets that have been inlaid with an orange-red finish.

Many reticles used with first focal plane scopes are designed with long-range target shooters in mind, offering a slew of aimpoints that can over-complicate the sight picture for the airgun shooter.

In contrast, the SS-2 FFP reticle used here is a simple design and is graduated in milliradians. This ties in nicely with the pull-up-to-adjust turrets, each click of which offers an adjustment of 1/10 mil.

The reticle choice is by design rather than accident, as Sureshot Airguns, Discovery’s UK distributor, points out that the scopes in the VT series are intended for airgun use, including springers, although their tough build means they can cope with lower-recoil powder-burners too.

The whole concept of the Compact is to keep things nice and compact, so to this end Discovery has thrown in a honeycomb sunshade rather than the more usual extension tube.

The SS-2 FFP mildot reticle is relatively uncluttered for a first focal plane design and combines dashes and diamonds to make it easy to read

This reduces glare without limiting your field of view, and only adds a few millimetres to the overall length of the scope. The package is finished off by a set of polymer flip-up lens caps, which still work with the honeycomb fitted.

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